Lately my thoughts keep returning to the idea of legacy. Life purpose, life mission, call it what you will, but I believe we each arrive hardwired to contribute to the great global tapestry of life. That’s legacy.
So while I intend to stay here in this body for quite awhile yet, I also want my presence here, especially the suffering part, to count. To matter. To leave a lasting imprint of some kind, and I’d prefer it to be a helpful one.
It wasn’t too long ago that my thoughts of legacy were kind of grandiose. I saw myself as one day having a voice on a world stage. It was a fine dream but I didn’t yet have a message to take to that world stage. I just thought the message would come in its own time. Magical thinking, yay!
I’ve let go of all that.
Honestly, at this point I just want my journey here to matter to the people who care about me. It still bewilders me a little that there are so many of you who care about me, but I’m learning to accept it. I spent most of my life believing I was unworthy of love.
(Isn’t that silly? We are all worthy of love. But I know I’m not the only one who’s had to wrestle with that belief, so if that’s you then please please know that you are so very worthy of love and of all the good stuff.)
Let me back up a bit and unpack the “suffering” thing. Did you see how I slipped it in there? My suffering, meaning the hard bits (and there are many) about this cancer journey, is what I want to have meaning. If you run a marathon you get benefits: all the good feels about crossing the finish line and doing something physically demanding that few people do, additional physical fitness from months of training beforehand, and probably a whole lot more I don’t know about since I’ve never run a marathon. But cancer? What do I get from taking 60,000 pills a year? Besides getting to still be alive, which, granted, is a huge benefit right there. But I want more. I want it all to mean something, to benefit the people in my little corner of the global tapestry.
So this is what I’m sitting with. I have a belief that I shouldn’t expect my suffering to have meaning to anyone. Who am I, anyhow? But I still want it to.
And I think that’s what I need to let go of.
I have another belief that just sharing my journey here, as transparently and as authentically as I can, is enough. It’s enough. I can fucking rest and say my work here is done and just share my life, open it up wide for all to see. There’s good stuff in that. We humans need the storytellers and honest chroniclers who crack a window into their hearts and souls and let people look in. And maybe that’s enough. It’s not “world stage” with a life-changing message, but maybe it doesn’t have to be and maybe, just maybe, I don’t have to have it all figured out yet.
Much love, as always.